tv NBC Nightly News NBC February 27, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
on the broadcast tonight, a deadly school shooting in ohio. a student takes aim inside a crowded cafeteria. tonight, one teenager is dead. more are critical. were there warning signs that were missed? boiling point in afghanistan. an explosion of fury against americans after more than a decade of war. how did it come to this? record highs and soaring now toward $5 a gallon. is there any end in sight? tonight, how americans are paying the price from the delivery guy to the drivers delivering all those stars to last night's oscars. brain power. health news tonight about something we've known for years is good for the heart. now we find out how good it is for the head. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
good evening. a student stood up inside the cafeteria at a suburban cleveland high school today and opened fire. he killed one student, wounded four others before being captured. in the years since columbine, we learned a lot of lessons in this country about the signals, the danger, warning signs and acting on them in time. but today, apparently, a troubled and highly-motivated young man took matters into his own hands before others could move to prevent it. it's where we begin our coverage tonight with nbc's kevin tibbles in what is now the torn-up community of chardon, ohio, 30 miles outside of cleveland. good evening. >> reporter: brian, tonight the flag outside chardon high school flies at half-staff as the city mourns both the loss of its innocence and one of its own.
just after 7:30 this morning, shots rang out in the cafeteria of chardon high school. >> we have an active shooter at height school. >> reporter: inside, a single shooter opened fire sending students and teachers scrambling for safety. >> there's a lot of running, a lot of screaming. i heard a bunch of shots fired. >> reporter: five students were shot before two teachers managed to chase the suspect from the building. t.j. lane who comes to chardon to take the bus to a local vocational school was arrested by heavily-armed police without incident a few minutes later. students were evacuated to a nearby middle school. it was here where frantic parents came in search of their children. >> absolutely scared out of my mind. it's a very difficult thing to know that you can't be there to help them at a time like that. >> reporter: amid the tearful reunions came the news all had been dreading. danny parmentor was dead.
his family released this statement. "we are shocked by this senseless tragedy. danny was a bright young boy who had a bright future ahead of him." >> my heart goes out to the families of the five victims. >> reporter: nate mueller's ear was grazed by a bullet. >> i was friends with him up until eighth grade then he kind of got into the gothic phase and silenced himself. >> reporter: terrified students quickly turned to social media to find out about friends and console one another. "sat in my classroom listening to people calling parents and crying, thinking about movies i've seen of 9/11. this stuff actually happens." finally being evacuated, thank god. scariest thing i ever experienced. love you all. police and fbi cordoned off the school while the investigation continues as they continue to search for a motive behind a shooting that left this cleveland suburb in shock. >> i hope every parent will be able to hug and kiss your kid in
the last couple of days, take that time. >> reporter: this evening, two of the shooters' victims remain in critical condition. one is serious, the other stable. many area churches will remain open here this evening for memorial services. brian? >> kevin tibbles from chardon, ohio. thanks. a member of our family here at nbc news has family roots in chardon, ohio. chris jansing is here with that. listening to you talk about it, it reminded us so much of all the places where we grew up. >> reporter: anywhere usa. i did grow up near chardon. my brother lives there. i watched fourth of july fireworks in the parking lot of that high school. chardon is smalltown usa, but the question isn't just how could it happen here? it's how do we stop it? even before eric harris and dylan klebold killed 12 class mates and one teacher at columbine high school, experts developed a psychological
profile of attackers that is startling consistent. they are almost exclusively boys described after the fact as loners. >> who seem more isolated by their peers, more withdrawn, lose interest in things that are previously pleasurable to them. they stop being interested in playing the guitar or doing things they liked doing. >> reporter: the vast majority will never become violent, but these common characteristics are often a first clue that combined with better training of police and school officials led to many plots being thwarted. in 2011, for example, on august 5th near new orleans. later that month in tampa, florida, and in oregon in november. in all three cases, officials were tipped off to disturbing facebook postings and stopped students allegedly planning deadly attacks. january 26, 2012, in roy, utah. a student worried about a text message tipped off police who
foiled a bomb plot. clues provided by social media have changed the game, helping identify that rare individual who goes from being disconnected to dangerous. >> so what kids should do is take head of those warnings. they should go to adults. adults can talk to the kid. >> reporter: the impact of increased awareness has been significant. in 1992, there were 40 fatal school shootings. in the past seven years, the total number of fatal shootings has been half that. >> they're in for a tough time in ohio. chris jansing, thank you for that. news from halfway around the world. overseas, the situation in afghanistan continues to deteriorate as u.s. forces find themselves increasingly under siege. anger from afghans reaching a boiling point now, directed at american troops. the wave of violence in the last 72 hours is raising a lot of questions about the mission itself.
nbc's atia abawi remains there tonight reporting from our kabul bureau. >> reporter: good evening, brian. there is still a great deal of anger and fury following last week's koran burning, anger that the taliban are exploiting. this morning, two suicide attackers rammed their vehicles laden with explosives on the gate of a military airport in eastern afghanistan, killing nine afghans and injuring four nato services members. today reports of a possible poisoning by afghan staffers at a u.s. base. the taliban claiming responsibility for that. this on the heels of a deadly weekend that claimed two more american lives. advisors working at the ministry of interior. this week four americans and nearly 40 afghans lost their lives in the ensuing violence. the anti-american and western sentiment is at an all-time high within afghanistan. it has many foreigners here living on edge. brian? >> atia abawi, thanks. for perspective on all this,
we want to turn to our military analyst, medal of honor recipient, retired army colonel jack jacobs. is it fair to start asking tougher questions about the mission, like what we're doing there still? >> the mission started out to carve a 21st century country out of afghanistan that was ruled from kabul. that is not going to happen. it never has been like that. it's never been a possibility. it certainly isn't now. i think furthermore that the commanders down the change of command have undoubtedly been asked by the secretary defense, by the president of the united states to come up with alternative plans for evacuating the place sooner. we heard originally they were going to come out in 2014. there were rumblings now 2013. wait for the new congress to come together and demand perhaps we come out sooner than that. >> especially at this rate of violence over there. jack jacobs, thank you, as always. after a lull that's lasted most of the month, republican
primaries on tap tomorrow in michigan and arizona, and perhaps if you're just tuning back in to all of it, there is a real fight going on in the state where mitt romney grew up, where his father was governor. our report from nbc's peter alexander on the campaign trail. >> reporter: here in michigan, mitt romney today argued rick santorum doesn't have the background to deal with the american economy. >> senator santorum is a nice guy, but he never had a job in the private sector. >> reporter: in an op-ed today in the "wall street journal," santorum dismissed romney as tinkering at the margins. where advisors complain about gotcha headlines, romney and santorum struggled to stay on message. >> ann drive as couple of cadillacs. >> reporter: romney is fighting the narrative he's out of touch with ordinary americans like this comment at sunday's rain-delayed daytona 500. >> i have some great friends that are nascar team owners. >> reporter: today santorum
again defended against claims his campaign is narrowly focused on devisive social issues. >> freedom of worship is not just what you do within the sanctuary. it's how you practice outside the sanctuary. all the reporters are saying there is santorum talking about social issues. i'm talking about freedom. >> reporter: this weekend he defiantly challenged john f. kennedy's words. >> i believe in america where a separation of church and state is absolute. >> reporter: lifting one quote from kennedy's expansive 1960 speech on religion and government. >> i don't believe in an america with a separation church and state is absolute. to say people of faith have no role in the public square, you bet that makes you throw up. >> reporter: he's taking on the current president, too. >> president obama once said he wants everybody in america to go to college. what a snob. >> reporter: this afternoon, the president's spokesman responded. >> i don't think any parent in america who has a child would
think it's snobbery to hope for that child the best possible education in the future. >> reporter: for mitt romney, the stakes here in michigan could not be much higher ahead of tomorrow's primary. this is the state romney was born and raised. he refers to it as a homecoming party, whenever he is here right now. political analysts agree a loss here would be devastating and could upend this race. tonight a senior advisor for the romney campaign tells me they feel confidently. the polls show they are on a good track for a win here tomorrow. >> we'll know by tomorrow night. peter alexander, thanks. now to a big back drop issue, the price of gas right now. for commuters and businesses that rely on going by road, prices are hitting new records for this time of year, 10% above last year's prices nationwide, 15% above in the state of california. kristen dahlgren has more on some drivers who are paying a huge price.
>> reporter: 1:00 a.m. in orange county, california. an early morning fill-up that jimmy the milkman has been doing more than 30 years. these days, every day brings shock. with a truck full of milk to deliver, he has no choice. >> i don't have a horse and carriage. >> reporter: jimmy can't pass his cost along. customers would go elsewhere. he endures the increase is has laid off two workers. >> things were going real good up to about three, four weeks ago. then all heck has broken loose here. >> reporter: the last four weeks, the national average is up almost 30 cents. now at $3.70, it increased 13 cents in the last week alone. at the oscars last night, as all those limos lined up, chauffeurs were adding up the cost, 1,100 including taxes and tips, fuel surcharge 68. >> unfortunately, the fuel surcharge does not put us even.
we are not making money on it. >> reporter: if you'll never ride in the back of a limo or fill up a car, these higher gas prices are still taking you for a ride. from the farms to the chicago grocery store. >> if a vendor raises their prices to us, we obviously have to raise our prices. >> reporter: increases at every step in the production line means you can expect to pay more for many things. back in the milk truck, jimmy isn't sure how much more he can pay. >> i pray something happens and something good. >> reporter: worries the milkman could soon be a thing of the past. >> have a good day at school today. >> thank you. >> reporter: kristen dahlgren, nbc news, los angeles. you can't fault the cruise ship company for feeling snake bit now. tonight the sister ship of the costa concordia is without power and adrift in the indian ocean after a fire in the ship's generator. at this hour, 1,000 passengers
are aboard waiting for help to arrive. still ahead as we continue, what's good for the heart is also good for the head. health news tonight about something from our natural world to keep your brain and your mind young and fit. later -- our making a difference report. one woman's network of hundreds of people.
a story in the news today about fish oil and brain power. specifically, a new study that suggests fish oil may even slow the aging process in the brain. our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman is with us to talk more about this before people go out and there is a run on fish oil. does this look to be what it is? >> it's exciting. this study comes from ucla. basically, they did mri scans of the brain in about 1,600 people, average age about 67 years of age. in people showing no signs of dementia.
what they found was stunning. people with low levels of omega 3 fatty acids had brains with less volume compared with people who had higher levels of the same fatty acids. they tested mention function and body mass and amount of omega 3 fatty acids in blood cells. people with lower levels tested poorly for problem solving, multitasking, visual memory and executive function, all things that could be hurt with dementia. while everyone agrees the best way to get your omega 3 fatty acids is with your diet, think fish. two 3 1/2 ounce servings of fatty fish from a salt water. these are the ones that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. if you hate fish, there is something you can do. there is one time where supplements can work. the american heart association recommends a daily dose about
500 milligrams a day, which over a week adds up to the same two servings of fish. i think this one is, as we say, sort of a no-brainer. >> nice to report good news. >> yes, it is. >> something people can do. nancy, thank you, as always. when we come back, about that get-together last night in hollywood where they gave out those shiny figurines.
that was an interesting academy awards broadcast last night. viewership was up slightly from last year in that attempt to split the hosting duties. 40 million americans watched the evening billed as a celebration of the past, down to the design scheme and feel of the old-time movie house. there were a lot of firsts. christopher plummer became the oldest oscar winner at 82. jean dujardin became the first french oscar winner. say nothing of the fact "the artist" won best picture as a
black and white and silent film. there is the good doggy. there were the usual mishaps of bleeped swear words, questions about an exposed body part and the circus act. usual stuff. there was disappointment for "the descendents" and george clooney and a surprise win for meryl streep. third oscar out of 17 nominations. that's a record. jan berenstain died along with her husband stan. they created the berenstain bears. the books have been a staple for preschoolers for half a century. all those bear stories in the books were based on their family. mama and papa bear met each other at art school in 1941, settled in philly, married and had two children. there are 260 million copies in print. jan berenstain was 88 years old. here is the cost of good intentions. the pilot of a southwest
airlines flight to new york was just trying to do a nice thing over the p.a. on the plane. he told the passengers that an air traffic controller's mother was sitting among them. he used the phrase "mom on board" which over the p.a. sounded a lot like "bomb on board." that spooked the passengers who had to be quickly calmed down by the crew. the mom was surprised by the inflight shout-out. to the spectacular show in the skies over the northern hemisphere for the past few nights. continuing on through tonight, they are so bright, perhaps you've already seen them in their varying order. the crescent moon, jupiter and venus, dancing in the sky during this period of alignment. on a clear night, it amounts to a free astronomy lesson for the naked eye. up there tonight, how about some good news from american schools? that's coming up after this in our making a difference report.
sentiment sent by u.s. mail can mean to people. our making a difference report tonight from rehema ellis. >> reporter: lois retired from teaching years ago. but she is still committed to teaching her elementary students a lesson about life. hayes got the idea at this rural mississippi school where she spent most of her career. as she realized early on sending out birthday cards was a way to teach beyond the classroom. >> i always wanted them to know they're special. and their birthday should be a special time. >> reporter: now hayes sends about 400 handwritten cards a year to her former students. after 20 years, that can add up. >> i buy the cards by the box and it has never been a problem. i keep the birthdays organized by months. >> reporter: with former students scattered everywhere, she has to do her homework to keep track of everyone. >> one girl is studying in england this year. another boy just got back from new guinea.
>> reporter: facebook helps. >> the card came back to me last year. >> reporter: she gets an immediate response. >> she answered already. wow. >> reporter: former students like these sisters cherish the cards and the teacher, who keeps them connected. >> she'll send them from everybody to the class pet to the bully. >> reporter: she takes the time to write a personal message. it's very special. >> it's affected me in decisions i made as an adult also in taking care of my own children. >> reporter: 66 and retired, lois hayes says the lessons are not over. >> i plan to keep doing it as long as the lord provides for it. it is a joy. >> reporter: the latest batch of birthday cards are already in the mail. rehema ellis, nbc news, west, mississippi. >> there you go. that's our broadcast for this monday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we sure hope to see you back here tomorrow evening.